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31 Dec 09. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. UK deaths since the start of Operations on 7 Oct 01 have risen to 245, of whom 212 were killed as a result of hostile action. As confirmed by the MoD (31 Dec 09), the recent fatalities are:-
* A Lance Corporal from the Royal Military Police was killed as a result of small arms fire in the Sangin area on 20 Dec 09.
* A Lance Corporal from 3rd Bn The Rifles was killed during an engagement in Sangin on 21 Dec 09.
* A Lance Corporal from The Parachute Regiment was killed by a suspected improvised explosive device South of Sangin on 22 Dec 09.
* A Rifleman from 3rd Bn The Rifles was killed following an explosion in the Kajaki area on 28 Dec 09.
* A Sapper (i.e. Private) from the Royal Engineers (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) died from wounds received as a result of an explosion near Sangin on 31 Dec 09.
3rd Bn The Rifles has built two new Patrol Bases near the Helmand River. (MoD, 21 Dec 09.)
Recently-deployed Merlin helicopters have been delivering supplies, ammunition and Christmas mail to Forward Operating Bases and Patrol Bases. (MoD, 24 Dec 09.)
General S McChrystal, ISAF Commander, paid a Christmas Day visit to Patrol Base Sandford. The Base is occupied by members of 2nd Bn The Yorkshire Regiment, the Danish Army and the Afghan National Army. (MoD, 31 Dec 09.)
Comment: The fatalities on 20 & 21 Dec 09 may have been caused by friendly fire (‘blue-on-blue’). In both cases no firm conclusion can be reached until after Coroners’ Inquests.
The Commanding Officer of the Royal College of Defence Medicine (RCDM) Clinical Unit has appealed for those wishing to see patients to follow correct procedures. Visiting hours at Birmingham are between 14.00 & 16.00hrs and 18.30 & 20.30hrs. Anyone planning to attend is asked to contact Patient Support Services (Tel: 0121-627 8361). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 11/01, 04 Jan 10)
06 Jan 10. UDA set to confirm weapons dumped. The Ulster Defence Association (UDA) is expected to announce later it has put its weapons beyond use. The loyalist paramilitary group has five weeks to meet the government’s 9 February deadline to complete the decommissioning of its weapons. Once this amnesty ends, any UDA weapons discovered by police would be forensically tested and evidence could be used in future court cases. It is understood the UDA leadership put its weapons beyond use in recent weeks. The UDA and the Ulster Freedom Fighters (UFF) , a cover name it used for its paramilitary activities, are suspected of being behind 400 murders between 1971 and 2001. A second, and older loyalist group, the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) completed decommissioning in June last year. (Source: BBC)
07 Jan 09. Airbus is likely to receive additional funds to build the A400M military transport plane, ending a dispute that has threatened to scupper the 20 billion euro project, Financial Times Deutschland reported on Thursday. Negotiators say Airbus parent EADS (EAD.PA) has asked NATO buyers to contribute 5.3bn euros ($7.6bn) of additional funds to make